31 Oct 2013 22:29pm
ONGWEDIVA, 31 OCT (NAMPA) Some members of the Oshikuku farming community, who claim to have been negatively affected by the just-commenced construction of the road between Oshikuku and Elim in the Omusati Region, are up in arms against the contractor.
Construction work on the N.dollars 65,6 million district road, which links Oshikuku Constituency to Elim Constituency at Onamutuku village towards the Oshakati-Okahao main road, was started in August this year.
The road is being upgraded to bitumen standard over a period of some 12 months.
The Roads Authority (RA) has contracted Namagongwa Trading Enterprise to do the upgrading work in partnership with a small contractor called Iinongo Trading Enterprise CC.
However, members of the Oshikuku community have now started accusing the contractor (Namagongwa Trading Enterprise) of destroying the fences of their crop fields without their consent.
Some of them are claiming that the construction has also disrupted their water supply services after the contractor allegedly destroyed their pipelines without repairing them.
They disregard the rights we have to our properties. There is no consultation, no respect and no compensation, one of the affected crop field owners, who insisted on anonymity, charged.
The same farmer claimed that the contractor destroyed a part of his good quality fence just to replace it with a poor quality one.
I have been fetching water from elsewhere for the past month, after that contractor disconnected my pipeline without re-connecting it up to now, he charged.
The affected community members are considering holding a protest march if the contractor continues to disregard their rights to be consulted and to be compensated for their damaged properties.
Omusati Regional Councillor for the Oshikuku Constituency, Modestus Amutse told Nampa that the Omusati Regional Council is aware of the issue and it is consulting the two parties to work towards a peaceful and amicable settlement on the matter.
I consulted all the sides and they are all prepared to meet each other halfway, said Amutse, adding that the majority of the community members now understand the situation and only two or three individuals remained unsatisfied.
The councillor also shot down the allegation that the contractor has been failing to consult the people, saying the people who might not have been consulted are the ones who were not at their homes at the time.
Amutse has, however, called on the community to be patient while his office looks for a solution to their grievances.
The contractor was not immediately available for comment.